Words Hurt

August 22, 2010
words hurt

Words Hurt

In working with leaders and listening to their stories about employees as an executive coach, there is a gap that shows up between being concerned about people’s performance and being respectful with people. I know this is a gap that took me a long time to close in co-running my organization. I wanted people to perform and when they didn’t I would become disregarding. I am not proud of those days. Perhaps you have done, or are doing the same today. The problem was that the belief system I was operating under was flawed. I believed that being direct, stern and strong would deliver performance results. I could not have been more wrong!  Today I help clients see this by shining the light on them as a follower. Let me show you…

Do you get instructions to do anything from your spouse at home? “Well yes,” you might say.

When you perform that task do you often get it “right” or is there often correction in how you followed out your task? “Often corrections, I did not even know there is a “wrong” way to make a peanut butter sandwich.”

How do you feel being corrected and knowing that your way would work for you and not for your spouse? “Unengaged, dissatisfied and downtrodden.”

How is that any different than how you may be showing up for your employees?

Words hurt when put in the wrong order with the wrong tone or intent. Think about what your executive coach would ask you, “How do you want to feel everyday coming to work? How do your employees feel? And what can you do to improve it for all of them?”  Then act.


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